In the past seven years Pocket Books has been taking Star Trek novels to a new level by embarking on an ‘eighth season’ of Deep Space Nine in book form. With the release of the newest DS9 ‘relaunch’ novel fast approaching, this week’s edition of the Library Computer brings you a guide to the series and what you need to get caught up on all the previous action.
THE ESSENTIAL DEEP SPACE NINE RELAUNCH
Although each of the five Trek series has books set after their finales (on TV or in Film), the post-finale DS9 book universe is the most realized. The ‘releaunch’ book series began in May 2001, two years after the TV series ended. Set in the aftermath of the final episode of the series, "What You Leave Behind", the authors had to compensate for the loss of Benjamin Sisko, and compensate they did. Through nineteen stories (more if you count portions of several other works), and countless storylines, Deep Space Nine remains alive and well on the printed (or electronic) page. With the upcoming release of "Fearful Symmetry", we thought it might be a good idea to give you a rundown of the ‘essential’ Deep Space Nine relaunch…Although there are many fine books in the series, the following are the ones which are absolutely indispensable for those considering picking the series up to read the next installment.
Avatar, Books 1 and 2
by S. D. Perry
I recall reading the two books of the Avatar series with a great deal of excitement and anticipating. Here was what I, as a DS9 fan, had been waiting for: the continuation of the story beyond the end of the series. S. D. Perry did not disappoint. Perry’s duology set the stage (and the bar) for everything that came later.
A sneak attack on the station leads pretty much everyone in the Alpha Quadrant to assume that the War is back on, while we are introduced to an almost entirely new staff aboard the station. The effects of Sisko’s disappearance and the prophecies concerning his child swirl around Kasidy Yates, and Jake Sisko elects to embark on a journey of his own.
by David R. George III
This is one hefty book. No matter, "Twilight" by David R. George III was one of the most immersive experiences I can recall in reading a Star Trek novel (at least, until his outstanding work on the life of Leonard McCoy in the Crucible trilogy). In "Twilight", the Defiant heads out for the Gamma Quadrant on a mission of exploration, forcing Commander Elias Vaughn, the Defiant’s commander, to face his own personal demons while, at the same time, spearheading what everyone hopes will be a new day for the Defiant and the future of Federation presence in the Gamma Qadrant. At the same time, a move begins back on DS9 to bring Bajor into the Federation, while relationships begin to form among some unlikely candidates.
by Michael A. Martin and Andy Mangels
There’s no greater way to learn about yourself than to lose nearly everything that makes you who you are; or so Julian Bashir, Ezri Dax, and Nog discover while studying an ancient artifact in the Gamma Quadrant. Martin and Mangels managed to explore the emotional aspects of physical change while, at the same time, delivering an energetic tale aboard the Defiant. At the same time, back on Bajor, things aren’t going so well for Cardassian/Bajoran relations, or for the Bajoran faith. "Cathedral" is a book that met head-on the challenge of expressing religion in the midst of a science fiction universe, and did an outstanding job of it.
by S. D. Perry
To be blunt, I think you either had to love "Rising Son" or hate it. "Rising Son" is Jake Sisko’s story, showing what happened with him between the events of the Avatar dulogy and the end of the Mission Gamma series. From spending time aboard a tramp freighter with space pirates to questing to discover the truth about his father’s fate, S. D. Perry took a break from the Starfleet and Bajoran view of much of the relaunch, and really went to town with Jake’s story. Those who wish to follow Jake’s evolution more closely will want to make sure they read this tale, but it is an otherwise dispensable entry into the series.
by S.D. Perry
"Unity" was the first hardcover Star Trek book I had bought and read in a long time. My preference is usually to buy the audio version of hardcover books. By the time that "Unity" arrived, however, I was firmly entrenched in the DS9 relaunch, and many fans were anticipating this just about as much as the second part of "The Best of Both Worlds". "Unity" definitely delivered.
In Perry’s book, the Defiant returns from her Gamma Quadrant excursion just in time to find herself in the midst of a system-wide shutdown around the station, with a familiar (to us) alien presence running amuck, Bajor’s future in the balance, and some major revelations being prepared in the Celestial Temple.
"Unity" was, in essence, the finale of the ‘eighth season’ of Deep Space Nine and the beginning of the ‘ninth’.
Worlds of Deep Space Nine Volumes 2 & 3
"Unity" was followed by a three volume series that contained two stories each, known collectively as "Worlds of Deep Space Nine". The stories focused on Cardassia (The Lotus Flower), Andor (Paradigm), Trill (Unjoined), Bajor (Fragments and Omens), Frenginar (Satisfaction Is Not Guaranteed), and the Dominion (Olympus Descending). Each of these stories spins out some of the characters and events of the preceding works and addresses their intricacies and unanswered questions in very manageable ways. Of particular importance to the past and future of the relaunch series are volumes 2 and 3 for Mangels and Martin’s "Unjoined" (which resolves questions surrounding the aliens from "Unity"), Kym’s "Fragments and Omens" (centered on Bajoran affairs in the wake of several differing events in "Unity") and George’s "Olympus Descending" (which sets the stage for the next novel.)
by David Mack
You can usually count on David Mack to deliver a bloodbath, but in "Warpath" he inherits the aftermath of one perpetrated by the station’s resident Jem’Hadar, Taran’atar. While something may not be ‘quite right’ with him, you can be sure that, when David Mack is guiding your fate, that someone, somewhere, is engineering your ‘not quite right’ moment… and Mack leads Taran’atar and us right down the garden path to "Fearful Symmetry", the July 2008 release from Pocket Books.
There you have it, six must-read novels, a ‘perhaps’ tale of Jake Sisko, and three short stories that, taken together, will give you all the exposure you need to enjoy "Fearful Symmetry" on all cylinders. Certainly every book of the Relaunch tells a part of the tale that will enrich the reader’s journey, but these stories will truly set the stage for what is to come.
Further post-finale DS9 reading
It’s worth noting that several other projects are also set after the finale of Deep Space Nine, though their level of connection with the official relaunch project varies.
- Though published after "Rising Son", "The Left Hand of Destiny" Books 1 and 2, written by J. G. Hertzler and Jeffrey Lang precede the other books of the Relaunch, and feature –predictably- Worf and Martok. While they were published under the DS9 Relaunch banner, they serve as a stand-alone tale.
- The N-Vector graphic mini-series from Wildstorm is set in the weeks between the end of the series and the events of "Avatar", and features Tiris Jast and the Defiant.
- Andrew (Garak) Robinson’s "A Stitch In Time" is, perhaps, one of the most outstanding works by an actor-turned-author in the history of Star Trek fiction. Filled with accounts of Garak’s youth, but with a framing story that takes place before the Relaunch really begins, "A Stitch In Time" is (retroactively) considered a part of the Relaunch, and, while not essential to the storyline, is definitely worth a read.
- "The Lives of Dax" anthology features a framing story set in the aftermath of the Dominion War, but includes tales spread throughout the many centuries of the Dax symboiant’s existence.
- Thought often believed to be a part of the Relaunch, the three books of the Millennium mini-series are not a part of this series, and form something of an alternate reality look at the end of the Deep Space Nine saga.
DS9 RELAUNCH TIMELINE
Confused? With the high degree of inter-connectivity of the Relaunch tales, and the varying release dates, its easy to get turned around. What follows is the suggested order for reading the various novels, comics, and stories that make up the Deep Space Nine Relaunch. The above ‘Essentials’ are in bold.
- The Left Hand of Destiny
- The Lives of Dax (framing story only)
- N-Vector (Wildstorm Graphic mini-series)
- A Stitch in Time
- The Calling (from the DS9 anthology Prophecy and Change)
- The Dream Box (a stage play by Andrew (Garak) Robinson)
- TNG: Maximum Warp (features a cameo appearance of the Defiant under command of Tiris Jast)
- Avatar Book 1
- Avatar Book 2
- SCE: Cold Fusion (features repairs in the aftermath of Avatar)
- Demons of Air and Darkness
- Horn and Ivory
- Divided We Fall (Wildstorm Graphic mini-series; takes place concurrently with Twilight)
- The Brave and the Bold IV: The Final Artifact (takes place concurrently with Twilight)
- This Gray Spirit
- Lesser Evil
- Rising Son (Takes place between the end of Avatar and the beginning of Unity)
- Trill: Unjoined (from Worlds of Deep Space Nine Vol. 2)
- SCE: Wounds (features Julian Bashir)
- The Officer’s Club (from the Tales from the Captain’s Table anthology)
- Bajor: Fragments and Omens (from Worlds of Deep Space Nine Vol. 2)
- Andor: Paradigm (from Worlds of Deep Space Nine Vol. 1)
- Ferenginar: Satisfaction is Not Guaranteed (from Worlds of Deep Space Nine Vol. 1)
- Cardassia: The Lotus Flower (from Worlds of Deep Space Nine Vol. 3)
- The Dominion: Olympus Descending (from Worlds of Deep Space Nine Vol. 3)
- Fearful Symmetry
Hard to Timeline or Expansive:
- SCE: Aftermath (featuring O’Brien on Earth)
- SCE: Malefictorum (featuring Kira Nerys, Quark, Ro Laren and Treir)
- SCE: Lost Time (featuring Kira Nerys, Elias Vaughn, Ezri Dax, Nog and Elim Garak)
- Saturn’s Children (from the Mirror Universe anthology: Obsidian Alliances, providing a look at the mirror universe characters last seen in the episode "The Emperor’s New Cloak". The story bridges the gap between the episode and the novel "Warpath".)
More info on the DS9 relaunch at Memory Beta (the non-canon Star Trek wiki)
Next Up: The Relaunch Continues
The next Library Computer will have a review of the next book in the line – "Fearful Symmetry."
DS9 is best of all Star Trek series. I hope that J.J. Abrams will realize this and make a DS9 movie – ST XII: Return of the Emissary.
N-Vector actually features Tiris Jast, Elias Vaughn’s predecessor who also appears in Avatar and Maximum Warp…
The DS9 relaunch is the best stuff to come out of Star Trek books, it’s been continually fantastic from the off. I can’t wait for the oh so long awaited next instalment.
I think these “Essentials” are perhaps a little lacking though, it’s amazing the little things you don’t notice in the earlier books at first that rear their head latter in the series so I wouldn’t want to skip Abyss, the Gateways instalments or any of Mission Gamma, they are all very important to the ongoing story.
(Also, the link to Memory Beta is missing an n in relaunch so is currently broken…)
Oh and another thought, the first four stories were released in an omnibus last year: “Twist of Faith”, and a second omnibus, “These Haunted Seas”, with the first two books of the Mission Gamma series should be coming about right about now. So that’s two books any of the uninitiated should definitely pick up. Much easier and probably cheaper than tracking down the seven different books they were originally published as.
DS9 still rocks!
Bring Back Kir… I mean… Bring back Sisko!
Can no longer buy “A Stitch in Time”.
Stitch in Time is in my top three favorite Trek books ever… and I only found out later that it wasn’t ghostwritten. Andrew Robinson should have stopped acting right then and there and dedicated himself to novel-writing.
Hated the entirety of Mission: Gamma, personally, but Unity was a worthwhile payoff.
Did you ask for random opinions from James? No. Yet I provide. Founders be praised.
I love DS9 too much to indulge in it’s non-canon incarnations. Not that They may be Bad, I’d Just rather it be acknowledged as Something New in The Trek realm that could and Should be Celebrated Because Of how Good WE all know It was……………………………………………………………………………………..LIKE A MOVIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
There was kind of a fan film sequel called HOW YOU LIVE produced in 2001 by Christopher M Brendel. It was feature length, with a strongf storyline.
It had subtitles instead of dialogue but music as in there, go to unimatrixproductions.com and email him – there doesnt seem to be any information available online.
The current Terok Nor “prequels” are pretty kick-ass
This is really helpful – thanks! I read up through Unity, then kind of got lost. Unity was terrific, by the way, and does seem like a ‘Season Finale.’
I also agree that the Mission Gamma books were a bit plodding…
In it’s original run, I actually didn’t like DS9 much. (And being one of the few fans who thinks Voyager is better, when UPN put Voyager in the same timeslot as WB put DS9, I watched Voyager for a year and a half instead.) It seemed too close to Babylon 5, and too far away from exploring strange new worlds. And the first few seasons were somewhat weak.
Now, the only Trek shows I own on DVD are TOS and DS9. Though I will always love TNG and Voyager, DS9 seemed to tap into the broader universe. You really felt like the conflict of the week mattered, because it played into the arc of the show. And DS9 was willing to touch issues that the other Trek shows didn’t, like the holocaust, religion, and war. Real war that wasn’t wrapped up by the end of the episode. There was no “Well, that takes care of the war, the Organians won’t let us fight.”
Shouldn’t that be “amok” (as in “Amok Time”) rather than “amuck?”
DS9 the movie? No way, DS9 is not even Star Trek at all. DS9 is a soap and it will remain as a TV-show. Star Trek is Star Trek with a starship, not space station.
I think part of the reason Star Trek has seemed kind of stale in recent years is because there hasn’t been the freedom to do a show that wasn’t on a starship like Deep Space Nine. But even Deep Space Nine wasn’t the idea of the producers not to do it on a starship. It was Brandon Tartikoff who wanted to make a companion show to The Next Generation as he described (I’m paraphrased) “If Star Trek was ‘Wagon Train to the Stars,’ then this show should be like The Rifleman about a man and his son [living in a town].”
I’d love to see a show set in the Star Trek universe about civilians or something. Hey, maybe if Caprica is successful it’ll make such a series seem viable to those in charge.
Some clarifications: the SCE stories are =NOT= “hard to timeline,” as their place in the timeline was established both in historians notes in the stories themselves and in the timeline in VOYAGES OF IMAGINATION. And the one you did place is in the wrong spot. *grin*
AFTERMATH by Christopher L. Bennett takes place between CATHEDRDAL and LESSER EVIL.
MALEFICTORUM by Terri Osborne and both LOST TIME and WOUNDS by Ilsa J. Bick all take place between the Ferenginar and Dominion tales in WORLDS OF STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE. This is noted right there in the historian’s notes of the stories.
As for SATURN’S CHILDREN, that can be read any time before WARPATH — it bridges the gap between “The Emperor’s New Cloak” and the David Mack novel.
1#14. Cut the crap, TOSish fanboy.
IMO DS9 is the weak link in the Star Trek chain, but not beacuse it isn;t set on a starship. It just wasn’t made in the same vain as the other shows. Roddenberry’s optimism and creativity was conspicuous by its absence – I guess that’s only natural because he wasn’t around to put his stamp on it from the beginning. Berman said outright that he didn’t set out to make another Star Trek show – he originally wanted to set DS9 outside the Trek universe but found it too difficult to not use the conventional elements of the franchise. It’s just artistically and philosphically separate from the other shows – it’s like he set out to change everything enyone knew about Starfleet and the universe.
To say that his optimism is missing is a fair point, but to suggest that there was any less creativity in DS9 is simply not true. And the whole notion of optimism in Star Trek refers to the uptopian society that is the Federation’s, and especially Earth’s, mysterious post-scarcity economy. The danger of pointing to it as optimistic is that it suggests that one shouldn’t question it. As Sisko and Ira Stephen Behr have both said on many times, “It’s easy to be a saint in paradise.” The danger is nothing less than the creation of an anti-utopia where we revel in the comfort of the Soma that is replicator technology provided to us by an omniscient government.
One of the main points of DS9 is that it’s hard work to maintain such a uptopia. It takes a Jeffersonian look at international (well, intragalactic) politics and serves as a metaphorical Fourth Estate to the Star Trek universe, keeping it honest as best as it can.
But it wasn’t just about that. It was a show that really knew how to have fun by delving into other genres such as spy movies, war movies, dark comedies, courtroom dramas, romantic comedies, and the above implied political thrillers.
It knew how to use all these tools in service of its characters which only flourished in depth and expansiveness. It’s the show with by far the most amount of characters, and by far the best developed in the context of its own TV show.
In the subsequent years, television at large has been influenced by shows like DS9, and I’m not just talking about Battlestar Gallactica and other shows with DS9 alumni. Before DS9 there weren’t that many shows with as serialized storylines as that show besides perhaps shows like Seinfeld and Hill Street Blues. Since then almost a large amount of shows are serialized and are generally much more densely packed.
#14 & # 18,
warning for trolling, hijacking
this is about the DS9 book relaunch and not an opportunity to start a ‘my trek is better than your trek’ flame war
#14, #18, #21, it’s just a very good TV show, on it’s own right. Trekkie or not if you don’t think DS9 is any good, than in my opinion you don’t have much taste.
#20 – Perhaps my phrasing was clumsy. I didn’t mean to say that there was LESS creativity, but that it wasn’t Roddenberry’s SORT of creativity.
DS9 had the most talented actors and most diverse array of characters out of any trek. It could have went to a Season 8 quite easily (similar to X-files when they dropped Duchovny and brought in Robert Patrick)..I’m glad these books are coming out…
24. I suppose it might not be Roddenberry’s sort of creativity. But then of course it wouldn’t be exactly that. Whether or not he would have liked it is impossible to guess, but it’s much easier to suspect that he would have liked that people put as much passion and individuality as the people who made DS9 did on their show.
On a note more related to the books, the only one of the above books I’ve read is A Stitch in Time. Like DS9 itself it was made by someone with a direct link to its parent show. It’s also interesting because it serves as something of a manual for how an actor can create a backstory for a character if they’re given the freedom to collaborate with the writers and producers that Andrew J. Robinson was given.
The guide in the above article is cool. I may use it later to decide what to read next, taking into account the corrections by Keith R.A. DeCandido.
I loved DS9 but these novels aren’t cannon right?
8th season of DS9, EH? Mmmmm….. interesting.
I love DS9. For me, it was the most dramatic of all of the Trek series, and the best written. I would love to see one or two of these novels turned into a mini-series or something. Heck, even an “animated” DS9 would be cool!
With all due respect, most of the general public who would potentially go to a see a Trek film have no idea who Sisko is or what an Emissary is! DS9, like TNG (which proved the point) belongs as a TV show (or series of books) where it can flourish.
A movie would have to discard too much of what made DS9 DS9!!!
Bring on the DS9 movies!!!
Maybe as staright-to-DVDs like Stargate SG-1 is doing?
I was a huge fan of DS9 but of all the books mentioned above the only ones I have read were the Reeves-Stevens’ Millennium series — and they are brilliant. It’s a shame they don’t fit into the ‘new’ continuity. That having been said, I seem to remember Shatner saying recently (isn’t he always saying something?) that he’s stopped writing his ‘Shatnerverse’ Trek novels. I *hope* that allows his writing partners the Reeves-Stevens to return to writing their own Trek novels again. A new ENT novel by the pair would be just awesome — especially given the fact that they were writers on the show during its final season and likely had some more stories brewing for those characters.
I’ve read every DS9 Relaunch novel, and for those who haven’t read them, you don’t know what you’re missing! If you like the series (and many people don’t ), you’ll most likely also enjoy the relaunch books.
I’m tempted to call #16 an S.C.E. fanboy, despite the clear problems with doing that, just because the way KRAD put that was, I thought, rather obnoxious.
Ah, hell, you only live once:
#16 IS AN SCE FANBOY!
Is not! ;)
DS9 rocks, by far and away the best Trek series. Great writing, great acting, and an awesome story arc which maintained the interest and made missing an episode harder to do.
….oh and it treated the audience like grown ups.
Ive read nothing of the relaunch but am about to go pay Amazon a visit :-)
I am an SCE fanboy, but I come by it honestly, as I’m the guy who co-created and edited the series. So I think I’m entitled. *grin*
DS9 prequels manage to make me care @ characters I just met,
and expand on Stitch in Time as well as the overall history of
Cardassia vs Bajor touched on in TNG, DS9, and more,
all noted in each book.
And the bonus of course is you don’t really need any of the above.
No offense to the authors of Millenium, but they just didn’t get DS9.
No, the core books of the relaunch are canon; in that if anyone wants to write a Season-8 DS9 novel, they may not contradict Avatar, Mission Gamma, Rising Son, or Unity; and if Season-9, Warpath.
It follows that books like Stitch In Time, Battle of Betazed and Lives of Dax which lay the foundation of the relaunch are also canon. However books like Dominion War: Behind Enemy Lines which contradict major character backstory as given in Avatar, are probably not canon.
Where will Destiny fit into all of this?? I know its takes place post NEM so wont that make a time jump of 3 years or so?